Case Study 1: Analysis

This project is a good example of many aspects of data work: why larger data-sets give you more interesting results (I would love to compare these findings to a more thorough analysis of production and art history), how data work can be done with minimal to no programming skills, and how charts without explanations can be misleading, amongst other things. The thing that I am most hopeful that it can represent, however, is how data that may initially disappoint you may ultimately still lead to something interesting. I went into this project hoping to see a more varied data set; maybe one that mimicked the production history of the character. I was annoyed when my guess was proven to be incorrect. However, it was the process of gathering and transforming the data that lead me to observe how even articles acknowledging the fluid gender presentation and identity of the Ariel character continued to use male pronouns. This is the humanistic part of digital humanities data work. Data is not an objective literal substance the way a certain rock is marble. It is shaped by our observation, our attention, and our questions. It is a sculpture. A relief. A representation.


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